A few years ago I was interviewing for a position with VISA. The position I was interviewing for was so-so, and in the end I didn't get it. I was told I was over qualified, which I was, but that's a story for another day. I got pretty far along in the interview process, and at one point the HR person discussed compensation and benefits with me. The compensation was nothing to write home about, but the benefits were pretty amazing. At the time, VISA's 401K plan included a 4:1 match up to 6% of salary. To date, these are the best 401K benefits that I have heard of. Recently I interviewed someone who was working for VISA and was thinking of leaving. The person told me that the golden age of the VISA 401K was over and that benefits have been sharply reduced. He did not share the details.
A relative of mine joined Boston Consulting Group after finishing his MBA. When I asked him what the company match to his 401K was, he said that there was none. The company simply contributed the maximum amount permissible to each employee's 401K account. No contribution from the employee was needed. That is the second best 401K plan I have heard of. Of course, the downside to this contribution structure is that the employee doesn't get a chance to contribute even more towards his own retirement plan. Actually, I am not sure whether employees were prevented from adding to the amount contributed by the company. Regardless, we are still talking about a lot of free money.
This is where I open up the floor for discussion and comments. I am asking my readers to tell me about the best 401K plans out there. Let's see if we can create a list of the best retirement plans offered by ordinary employers. Call it the "Best Companies for Future Retirees" list. All viable suggestions will be added to this post with a link to the appropriate blog.